A Murder of Crows
When I conceived of the Lucky Two Crows series, Lucky’s goal in life was to take down the food and petro-chemical cartels, responsible for killing his people for the past 400 years. He trained as a computer hacker, and his plot was to hack into the main-frames of all the major Cabals and steal all their money, and distribute the wealth in an altruistic way. But in order to do that he would need a million dollars to invest in the highest tech equipment. While not knowing how he’d get that money, he took a job solving a murder in Montana, The Blackfeet Mystery. Upon returning to Portland, Lucky met the billionaire Robert St. Clair, who offered him the million dollars, once they met again at the portal to Shambala. That journey became The Shambala Mystery Book One, The Shambala Mystery Book Two, and The Shambala Mystery Book Three. In The Blackfeet Mystery, Lucky stopped by the Crow Reservation in southern Montana, and was asked to solve a mystery there. A Murder of Crows.
In the first Lucky Two Crows novel, The Blackfeet Mystery, Lucky passes through Hardin, Montana and the Crow Indian Reservation. That night at the Crow Bar Lucky is confronted by Indian militia of the Native American Army. He meets a woman at the bar who tells about how many young Crows men and women have gone missing. The mothers and grandmothers are distraught. Something bad is going on under the privately owned prison, and she want Lucky to find out what.
The story has to do with deceptive lying Crow leaders and the Native American Army using Native slave labor under the prison to mine uranium for the North Koreans. Somehow Lucky needs to find his way into the prison and then under it, fight off the Native Army and rescue the young men and women, who are being as sex slaves for the guards and most corrupt prisoners. The rescue is much easier said than done.
This book has been plotted out, large segments have been written,
and needs to be completed.
The sun is setting when he arrives at the Wild Wind Cafe, just north of the Crow Agency Town, in Southeast Montana. The sign is barely readable, and if he hadn’t been paying attention, he would have passed it by.
The large run-down two-story wooden house was a mess, either in great need of paint and repair, or a fire. There were no trees around it, no grass or plants, just dirt. Three rusted wrecked cars sat dead in the yard, covered in tumbleweed; there wasn’t a drivable vehicle anywhere in sight. Maybe this place had life twenty years ago, but now he couldn’t imagine it has a coffee machine, or anything to eat or drink. His only clue to life in the old house is the smoke coming out of the chimney. It piques his interest. He parks his truck and heads to the front door. He’s intrigued as to why Clarence, Grandfather, sent him here.
The handle turns, so he walks in. To his surprise, the interior is pleasant and comfortably arranged. The large room has an open river-rock fireplace, with real logs burning. There are several antique wooden tables and chairs, an old leather couch and three matching easy chairs in front of the fire. Several cases house a substantial library of books. Framed hundred-year-old photos fill all the wall spaces. Opposite the fireplace is an ornately carved hardwood bar with ten stools, backed by a large mirror and a full array of liquor. There’s nobody in the room.
“Hello,” he yells out. “Is anyone here?”
“Somebody has to keep the damn fire going,” an ancient rumble of a voice says from behind him. Lucky turns with a start. He could swear there was nobody in the room he had just entered, but there he is, a very old Indian man with half his yellow teeth missing. His deeply wrinkled face is held together by a scraggly beard he probably hasn’t trimmed in forty years; long strands of gray reaching mid-chest. The man had to be over ninety years old, looked about one hundred and twenty, and was as skinny as a rail. “You lookin’ for a shot of whiskey, boy?”
“You have soda water?” Lucky asks, still dumbfounded. The man is dressed all in brown. Brown pants, brown moccasins, brown calico shirt and a plain brown vest, covered by a brown suit jacket, which he probably bought new in the nineteen forties.
“Yeah, got some of that sodie water. Can put a nip of Jack in it for ya, no problem.” When Lucky shakes his head no, the old man ambles to the bar, and gestures for him to follow; to sit on one of the stools. In his own slow pace, he manages to place a tall glass with ice on a Wild Wind coaster, next to an opened bottle of soda water. He comes around and sits on the stool beside Lucky. “I’ve been expecting you,” he says. “They all come back eventually.”
“Expecting me? What are you talking about?”
“The scouts?” When he says that he suddenly remembers that he’s in Crow country, not so very far from where the battle at Little Big Horn was fought. “The Crow scouts?”
“Come back to make peace with their souls.”
Lucky’s now wondering if he’d entered a haunted house and this old man was one of the ghosts. The water tasted real; the bubbles fresh. “And you know that because?”
“I was one of ‘em.”
“Last time I looked, that war was fought around one hundred and fifty years ago. You look pretty damn old, old man, but not that old.”
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
“Remember you? How could I remember you?” With this asked, the old man leaves his stool and slowly moves across the room. Lucky follows him. “It’s my first time in this area . . .” Lucky stops talking as the old man takes an old framed photo off the wall, and hands it to him.
“See here.” He points at one of the twelve Crow Indian scouts in the photo, all overly dressed in hodgepodge assortments of western and Indian clothing, holding their Winchester 44 rifles. “That’s me. See’s Clearly. You and I were the only ones in this photo that didn’t die at Big Horn. Oh, I forgot. That there’s Dog Boy.” He points to another scout crouched in front.
“You and I?”
“See here? That’s you. Two Crows.” Lucky stares at the photo in disbelief, tears welling in his eyes. The warrior in the photo looks exactly like him. He can’t help himself. He begins to cry. His dreams and visions of Two Crows were true. It’s definitely him.
“After the battle, they sent me to Blackfeet country to kill you, and bring back your scalp. I found you but couldn’t do it. You were my best friend. You told me, and Dog Boy, to go home, to come back here. This is where I’ve been ever since. I’m the only one who survived.”
“That’s impossible. That would make you somewhere around one hundred and seventy-five years old.”
“What do you mean why not? You can’t be that old.”
“But I am.” He looks at the young man with sincerity as Lucky wipes his tears. “It’s good to see you again Two Crows. Been too long. I got a shack in back if you want to stay a few days. We can talk story, like we did back then.”
Lucky wants to run; run as fast as he can from this impossible dream. He still has the photo in his hands and looks once more at Two Crows and then at See’s Clearly. Although one hundred and fifty years older, he can see the resemblance.
“Dog Boy ended up marrying that white woman, Martha. They had something like eight children. She died normal and he lasted to around thirty years ago. I sure miss him.”
Lucky has no idea what he’s talking about. “You’re one hundred and seventy-five years old?”
“Give or take. I quit counting. But nobody believes me or gives a shit. I got a secret to keep living.”
“Which is . . .”
“Ain’t saying. You wanna stick around a few days or not?”
“I gotta go. I’ve had a long day on the road, need a hot shower and a comfortable bed. I’ll find a motel in Hardin.”
“Fair enough. But listen up, Two Crows. We got some big trouble here in Crow country. We could use a good scout to sort things out.” How he knew Lucky was still a scout, or a detective, seemed minor compared to the man’s age, so he lets it pass. “Go to the CrowBar and check things out. If you’re lucky, you won’t get scalped.” He laughs. “I guess you are lucky.” Does he know my name?
He pays for the soda and says what the old man wants to hear: that it was good seeing him again and he will be back soon. “Aho . . .” See’s Clearly says with a chuckle, “Maybe when you come back to save the children.”